Investing in yourself has never been easier, in terms of choice. There’s so many ideas and options floating around the internet, and your inbox is full of people professing to know what a good investment for you will look like.
You want to up-level and reach your goals, but you’re not really sure how to get there.
Well I can tell you, after years of not investing in myself, I only started to see huge growth in my business when I began to see myself as worth the investment.
Putting yourself first
When you put yourself first, you increasingly have more energy to be more productive in your work and you’re more motivated to grow your business. And because you’ve invested in yourself, you’ll find that you’re able to add more value to others. Unlike many other investments you could make – the stock market, real estate, horses – investing in YOU is never a risk, because there’s always a benefit.
People start to notice you
Nely Galán, the author of “Self Made“, describes how, when you choose yourself, “people will notice you, and they will choose you over and over again.” You put an end to passively waiting for things to happen to you, taking a lead and investing in yourself, so you take action and begin to move closer to being the you you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are some ways you could be investing in yourself:
- Improving your health and wellness – by looking after yourself you’re protecting your future.
- Booking a workshop or course – professional development and adding to your skills is vital!
- Watch, listen and read – Women who read, lead – am I right!?
- Attend networking events – surround yourself with other phenomenal women aiming high.
- Hire a business coach – this is a biggy and is a key one for leveling up!
- Prioritize self-care and breaks to increase productivity – you certainly can’t pour from an empty cup.
All of these are opportunities to invest in YOU. Set yourself a challenge to do a few of these each quarter and watch how much progress you make! I know that you’ll be amazed.
Getting into the right mindset
By investing in any of the above list, you’re getting into a childcare business owner mindset. You’re prioritizing yourself and showing leadership. All of the examples are going to demonstrate to your team that this is the way things should be. That when you lead it isn’t all about being at your desk 24/7 and neglecting your well-being. Nor is it about spending your days swanning around the mall with the Amex. Role modelling these to your staff and your family is true leadership.
And once you start investing in your self, it’s like you’re saying to the universe that you’re ready for success. It shows that you’re getting into the mindset for being a childcare business owner.
Investing in your future
I’ve got a Masterclass coming up where I will be covering the 5 foundations I recommend for making childcare ownership simple. After years of experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that owning a childcare business consists of 5 main steps. These steps can be broken down very simply so you’re not overwhelmed in your journey to successful and simple childcare ownership. And although they’re all of equal importance, some of these are overlooked!
In a nutshell, the 5 Foundations for Simple Childcare Ownership are:
- System Building
- Legacy Creation
And these are the simple steps I’ve noticed in my thirteen plus years of being a childcare boss! And when you start investing in yourself and in professional development like this, you’re beginning to think like a successful Childcare Boss.
I would love to see you in the Masterclass! If you have any questions don’t forget that I’m always in the Facebook group and if you haven’t already joined here’s the link The Childcare Ninja Members Group.
When it comes to putting passion into action, I’ve often found childcare business owners don’t do this enough. Yes, of course you’re passionate about your families and the care of the children, but what else lights you up?
Let me tell you a story about why it’s important that we don’t put all our eggs in one basket. And why we should look at our passions when we diversify our incomes.
It was all going so well
Back in the days – about 13 years ago – when I was running my childcare solely from my home, I had no other form of business. I ran my daycare, I looked after my own family. That was that. All was going really well – the children in my care were thriving and their parents were appreciative and kind.
Suddenly the rug was pulled from under my feet. The government had major budget issues. They froze childcare payments to those who needed them. Families in my daycare relied on that so they could send their children to me, in order to go to work. Government subsidies was where a significant amount of my income was coming from. And when they froze the payments, I found myself with less than I needed coming in.
I was facing three months with no pay outs from the government to cover those families. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Around me I could see other childcare businesses shutting down, but I was sure as hell not going to be one of them.
Searching my passion
I needed an additional source of income – STAT. Thinking about all my skills and passions, I began to search for ideas I could implement to supplement the gaping hole in my finances. It needed something that wasn’t dependent on the government or my daycare parents.
There were a couple of events and weddings I went to around this time, and I noticed that there were parents struggling – understandably! – to keep kids quiet and that those babies were bored outta their minds. A light bulb moment occurred!
I could put my passion into action! Soon after the idea came to me, I set up my very own Events and Weddings Childcare Service. I began offering babysitters on and off site for both the organizers of the events and to those attending. All this was in addition to my home childcare. I was serving other families, and it wasn’t focused on those at work so I didn’t need to worry about subsidies.
Where does your passion lie?
What are you passionate about? Is there something you’ve always wanted to experiment with, but you weren’t sure how to incorporate it into your life? Perhaps you pushed it aside to focus on your childcare business.
Well, I want you to learn from my mistakes. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Use your passion to diversify your income. We love what we do but I’ve been taught the importance of speculation! Figuring out a way of getting income from alternative sources is key!
Look at the hobbies and skills you’re excited about. Are you a talented musician? You could be offering musical sessions in your daycare or using the network of parents in your childcare business to spread the work about piano lessons. Or maybe you could play at events and ask parents to tell their friends. Minimize the work by implementing through your business.
Perhaps you’re an artist or amazing craft maker who could offer extra sessions in the daycare, or sessions at the weekend or after school to bored kids or in the evenings to folks who want to learn from your skills. If you’re into something pretty, these are highly sought after for things like bachelorette parties.
Put your passion into action
This isn’t the time to be humble. If you have a skill – outside of being a childcare ninja that is – use it! Whatever it is, it’s necessary to diversify your income streams to protect yourself and your childcare business.
By taking something you enjoy doing in your free time and creating a cash flow from it, you’re putting your passion into action. This sounds exhausting, but it needn’t be. Ensure you utilize word of mouth, making the most of the networks you have available, i.e., your parents!
And I implore you to do it now. There are unstable times upon us and you have a duty to yourself and your family to do what you can to look at other income streams.
Growth and Legacy
This is also an opportunity to think about growth – do you always want to run a childcare business? Or can you see yourself doing different things after you’ve sold it or moved on? Your passion project and side hustle could then become your main source of income instead of just a back up.
And what about the vision for your legacy? What does that look like for you? I like to say that your childcare business can be the catalyst to growing an amazing life, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing. It can be the start of amazing things.
And I see a bright future in you! There’ll be no stopping you once you put your mind to it. Trust me, I’m a ninja!
I hope you found this blog helpful to think about your future. If you enjoyed reading this, and would like to see more like this and chat with other childcare business owners, I wonder whether you’d like to head over here: Childcare Ninja Facebook group! Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
While you’re here, are you in the Childcare Ninja membership yet? We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! It’s full of exclusive resources and support to help you grow your Childcare Business.
You’ve got your website all set up ready to go, but how exactly are you going to tell people about your childcare business? How will you get them to see what services you have available? What are you going to do to get Ninja marketing results? On a limited budget…
This is where the wonders of social media come into play.
But what does that look like, really?
I bet you’ve heard all the big dogs talking about their “social media managers” and “scheduling”, right? However, you need to know what YOU can do to with social media to become a marketing ninja. So I’m going to share my strategies with you for getting the word out about your programs and offerings!
Group inside Facebook for your parents
For many businesses, it’s becoming pretty normal to have a Facebook group for your customers. Running a childcare business is a little different than other industries, but Facebook groups (along with other platforms) are there for you to use and it’s totally FREE! Quite often, marketing can come with a hefty price tag. So we’ve got to be savvy in our choices and seek out the ones that work best and cost the least.
A Facebook group is easy to set up, and you can allow parents access once they’ve enrolled their child. This can then be a private group where you can share photos of the daycare goings on or information about events you’re running. This space can become a really brilliant community for parents, especially for families new to the area. It can even be a super selling point for your childcare setting. Give it a go!
Sharing is caring
Social media is a cheap and easy place to share news and information about your business. You can promote your day care or a new service via an open Facebook page. Use it to explain the different programs you have available or share when enrollment opens up. Even when you’re advertising staff vacancies, Facebook is great for reaching different audiences.
You can use Twitter to get your name out there too, following trends or sharing fun activities you’ve tried with the children. By using relevant hashtags and building your own following, you’ll quickly gain traction and become a resource for the local community.
And of course there are other platforms to get into, especially if you’re really creative. Instagram is fantastic for creating a true “feel” for your childcare business, so parents get to know you and what you’re about. And there’s lots of fun to be had on TikTok if you know some younger families who might be interested in your daycare offerings.
Of course there are other ways to be seen – I’m no stranger to the old school methods – but social media has such a huge reach nowadays, it’d be daft to dismiss it. And I’ve got a free Ninja Marketing Guide for you to check out as well.
It might sound silly, but researching ideas using social media is an easy way of finding out what people want and need. You can use the search tools to get information about what services local people require. Plus you can check out what competitors are offering. There’s options for asking questions in local community groups. For example putting a poll out to find out if families are in need of overnight care for their children.
By doing your own market research on social media, you can save energy and money that you can instead invest elsewhere in your business. I’ve found that sounding out local parents before I launch any new services has meant I have knowledge of what they want. I can then provide a more tailored childcare. And of course if you want help and ideas with a project to grow your business, there are always people who you can reach out to online.
As someone who’s been in the game a while, I can tell you that social media is resoundingly successful in helping me both communicate & grow as a business owner.
Funny enough, social media sort of does exactly what its title portrays! It’s a key way of making connections and interacting with your community. This might look like a Slack chat with your awesome childcare team. It might be in your Facebook group letting parents know that there’s a bake sale in the daycare the following day. Or it could be a notice on your main daycare page that there’s a local road closure…
Whatever you do on social media, the more you interact positively and socialize, the stronger your relationships with those people will be. Be a helpful resource; be an online cheerleader and supporter of community groups! Get a buzz going around your childcare and everyone will want to champion your business in return.
Once you’re more established, you’ll be able to consider a strategic Facebook Ads campaign. For now though, I’d recommend spending some dedicated time to researching, connecting and building a community with local families you serve in your childcare. Social media is a valuable resource to Childcare Ninjas like you and me!
Ready to become a Ninja Marketing Boss?
If you want to learn more about marketing, I’ve got a free guide to marketing available to you right now! All you’ve got to do is click here.
Leave a comment below to tell me how you’re using social media for marketing. Join like-minded childcare business owners in my free Facebook group, where you can connect with other amazing women and share ideas. You’ll find more tips on how to take your childcare business to the next level!
And if you’d like to find out more about becoming a Childcare Ninja, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!
Fear is huge. It can be massively overwhelming. The terrifying thought of putting ourselves out there takes over and stops us from showing up. So what can we do about it?
One thing I’m often asked by people just starting out is, “how did you push through your fear to get to where you are now?”.
They’re right I did push on through! So I thought it’d be good to share some of the strategies I have in place.
If you’re just on the beginning of your childcare business journey, I see you. I understand the fear. I was there too. Let me take your hand and guide you through with some tips on showing the fear who’s boss.
Stamp on any negativity
Right from the start, I told myself I needed to recheck my negative thoughts. I didn’t know at the time, but this is actually a cognitive behavior therapy technique, commonly known as “Stamping on your ANTS” (Automatic Negative Thoughts). While we’re talking about negativity, ditch the friends who cast doubt on your dreams. If they were true friends, they’d be supportive and not fill your head with fear. Get rid of the “judgy” energy sappers!
I focused on the positives and every day I told myself I was capable. That I believed I could achieve my goals. Positivity attracts positivity. You call in what you put out. By believing in myself, other people believed in me too. They could see I had the determination and character to succeed, and I began to feel more confident in myself because I was telling myself each morning that I’d get there!
Also, I’ve written a blog about getting into the right mindset that you might find helpful.
Make fear an outsider
Above, I wrote about changing your friends. I mean it! As a childcare boss, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed! After a few years I realized this is what I needed to do in order to be successful. I actively seeked out my own cheer leading squad. They have got my back, and I’ve got theirs. I can ask their advice, I can tell them when I’ve achieved a goal, I can celebrate! All without fear of judgement. Best thing I ever did.
Not only do I now have a squad, but I’ve kicked fear to the curb. I don’t need to feel afraid about trying new business ideas out, or worry that I’ll be judged. Fear no longer plays a part. There’s no seat at the table for it. Bye Fear!
If you’re not sure where to find your squad, I’d recommend joining the free Childcare Ninjas Facebook group. Here you’ll find like-minded women who want to grow, learn and celebrate your success! It’s full of amazing childcare business owners at various stages of their careers and they’re waiting for you to join them…go on! What are you waiting for?
After you’ve worked on your mindset, you’ve got to make plans on where to go. The way to do this is baby steps. I started with one step, then another and another. It’s not as overwhelming when you’re moving in small steps!
Make a plan for each week and break it down into little chunks, you will be able to conquer those tasks. And every time you do tick something off or reach a milestone, the fear slips further and further away. It can’t get to you any more.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve pushed through the fear to achieve success. I’m now 13 years into running my business, I now own multiple childcare facilities, and I’m bringing in multiple six figures. I don’t say this to show off, I’m saying it to demonstrate that YOU CAN TOO! We’re made of the same stuff, you and I. And I can’t wait to see you achieve it.
I wonder if any of you have strategies for overcoming fear when it comes to your business? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you do!
If you’d like to know more, I have created some helpful videos and resources for you in my Childcare Ninja membership, to make your life a little easier, and to enable you to grow your childcare business into your own little empire.
Are you in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
Worried that you’re being awkward and finding sales super hard? Well stop worrying! We’ve all been there! Running a childcare business means our skills lie in caring for children – all the other stuff is a steep learning curve.
However, to make our childcare businesses successful, we’ve got to figure out how to make our awkward work for us. It’s a journey you need to go on to gain clients and build your business so it’s sustainable and profitable.
None of this comes naturally to me either, but I’ve been in the game long enough to know what works for me. I’ve got three strategies I’m going to share with you here. I hope they’ll help you go from being awkward to awesome.
1. Get over it!
Honestly. Sorry to be so blunt, but no one likes selling. Nope. No one. It’s super awkward asking people to buy your service and to shine a light on what you do better than others. It feels unnatural to us. But I learned pretty fast that the only way I was going to gain new clients was to put on a mask (no, not the Spiderman or Mardi Gras type!). I smiled and channeled my inner Queen. Essentially, I put on a show. I was acting. But d’ya know what? When I started my day like this, I started to believe that I was successful and I oozed confidence. People buy into that.
You’ve got to be seen to be successful. I’m not suggesting you lie about your business. I am saying you sort of need to trick yourself into believing that you’re good at selling. Put post-its around the bathroom mirror with affirmations on. Try these ones:
2. Shine a light on your uniqueness
Take your uniqueness and shine a spotlight on it! Think about what makes your childcare special. What makes it stand out from the rest? Is it the decor? Is it the themes you explore? Or perhaps you’ve got a background in something quirky that you bring to your business. Whatever it is, don’t hide that treasure away in the dark. Get it out in the spotlight and really make the most of what you’ve got.
When I first started my business, what made me totally different from other childcares in the community was that I offered 24/7 care. I was doing night times and weekends when others focused on daylight services only. And that’s not going to be for everyone, but there were people in the community (and from miles away actually!) who had been looking for someone like me to care for their babies. To them it was like a dream come true when they heard I was opening.
So get clear on what you’re offering and tell the world about it!
3. Shout about your story
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: shout about your story from the rooftop! People buy from people, and they want to know all about you. They want to know what makes you tick. Your business needs storytelling and it is so important that you bring the personal to your profession! There’s tons of evidence to show that sharing your story helps your business grow. Why? Because it will chime with families and they’ll find that they want to support your business.
Your story will inspire people. And by telling your story, you’ll be giving other people hope. You’ll bring hope to families who are struggling or maybe another business owner will be inspired to keep on pushing forward. It’s going to demonstrate to your customers how much you want to be in this business and how much passion and drive you have. It will show them how much caring for children in your neighborhood means to you – which will lead to sales!
You can read more about the importance of telling your story in this blog.
See? Sales don’t have to be awkward.
You just need to figure out what makes your childcare business unique and talk more about your back story.
Put on a smile, get out there and tell people about what you do and why you’re so awesome.
Before you go, have you found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!